Thursday, September 11, 2014

Elderberry Syrup

This is from Bulk Herb Store. The most important thing is to be sure the elderberries are picked fully ripened and properly cooked or they will make you sick to your stomach! Pay attention to that!
Dried Elderberries - Whole, Organic
Elderberry Syrup
by Bulk Herb Store on Nov 7, 2013

NOTE:  According to 
Herbs Gone Wild by Diane Kidman, she adds 20% of the amount of juice as alcohol which would surely make it last longer.  Perhaps on this recipe, you could use about 5-6 oz less water and add that much vodka after it is cooled to make it last longer than 2-3 months.  I want to try this next time.

- 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried organic Elderberries (note there are about 3-4 c of dried berries in 1/2 lb)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup raw local honey  (I used Vegetable Glycerin)
- 1 organic Cinnamon stick, 3 organic Cloves, and organic Ginger (optional)  (I used all of the herbs and was quite pleased)

Place berries, water, and spices in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Smash the berries to release remaining juice and strain the mixture. Allow liquid to cool and stir in honey. Will last for 2-3 months stored in the fridge.

(this is from VR and I also relied heavily on this part of the recipe to make this syrup: Combine in a large (cold) saucepot. If time permits, allow the berries to soak until they are soft, about 30 – 60 minutes. Place over medium heat and gradually bring to a boil. Once a rolling boil has been reached, stir frequently and continue to boil until the liquid has been reduced by half – roughly 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

(At this point, I used my stick blender to give a couple of zoops to break up the elderberries.  I didn't blend until the berries were indistinguishable.  It was still quite lumpy and able to be strained.)  Strain the concentrated extract and measure the liquid. Combine with the honey or simple sugar solution. (Or a blend of two or more sweeteners) (This is where I used the Vegetable Glycerin) Bring back to a boil and continue to boil for 10 minutes until the mixture is thoroughly combined and the syrup reaches your preferred consistency. Allow to cool slightly and pour into prepared bottles. Store in the refrigerator.

Notes: My personal preference is a thick, honey-like syrup that stays on the spoon when scooped out of the bottle. However, you can make it as thick or thin as you prefer, depending on how long you boil the second stage.)  (I boiled until it was quite thick and coated the spoon nicely making it much more potent per dose.)
Optimal Dose: 1-3 tablespoons syrup a day

NOTE:  I used Vegetable Glycerin from the Bulk Herb Store and relied heavily on their instructions which are as follows:
Simmer herbs in a mixture of 60% glycerin and
40% water 
for 2 hours
Use about 1/4 cup of dried herbs per 1 cup of glycern/water
Store in cool dark place.  Will remain potent and effective for 2-3 years.
I also simmered for a long time to reduce to a fairly thick liquid.

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